Links for June 2012

Comment on 6th Circuit Proposed Procedure Changes

The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is proposing comprehensive amendments to the Sixth Circuit Rules and Internal Operating Procedures. Send your comments to the proposed changes to Clerk Leonard Green by July 12 to ca06-rules_comments@ca6.uscourts.gov

Nashville Law Student Wins TBA Writing Competition

Paper on climate change and tort law takes first place in annual contest

NASHVILLE, April 23, 2012 -- William Airhart, a third-year student at Vanderbilt University Law School, has been awarded first place in the Tennessee Bar Association Environmental Law Section's 2012 Jon E. Hastings Memorial Award Writing Competition for his article "After AEP: The Climate Change Tort and the Social Cost of Carbon."

Board of Law Examiners: Duncan Students Can Take Bar Through 2017

The Lincoln Memorial University John J. Duncan, Jr. School of Law received an extension from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners to achieve American Bar Association accreditation, officials announced today. The board gave the school until December 2017 to earn ABA approval, which means that its students can sit for the state bar exam at least through that time. The extension follows a March 29 visit from the board, in which members met with students, administrators and members of the legal community and observed classes. WATE has the story

Bill to Change Attorney General Selection Fails

A proposal to change the way the state attorney general is selected failed 16-15 in the Senate. Under the proposal, the governor would have appointed an attorney general and the legislature would have confirmed the selection. Currently, attorneys general are selected by state Supreme Court justices. Read the AP story

'Loser Pays' Passes Senate

State senators yesterday approved legislation creating a "loser pays" system that allows judges to assess fees of up to $10,000 on plaintiffs who bring suits determined to have "no basis in fact or law." The vote was 17 to 12, with two Republican members who are also lawyers joining Democrats in opposition. The measure now heads back to the state House to approve minor Senate changes. The House originally passed the bill on Tuesday. WPLN.org has more

DOJ Slams Shelby County Juvenile System

The U.S. Justice Department said today that juvenile offenders in Shelby County are denied due process rights and that black children are treated differently and more harshly than white children by the Juvenile Court. The investigation by the department’s Civil Rights Division began in August 2009 and included the review of 66,000 case files from a five-year period. Among other violations, it found repeated failures to protect children from self incrimination, failure to notify children and their parents of charges prior to hearing dates, a pattern of sending children to detention without warrants if they were arrested on weekends or holidays, a lack of thoroughness in deciding to charge juveniles as adults, and a lack of safe conditions at the detention center. And while these failures applied to all children, the DOJ said there was a verifiable and noticeable difference in how black children were treated. Read more in The Memphis Daily News or download the report

TBA Announces 2012 YouTube Contest Winners

News from the Public Education Committee
Students challenged to produce videos on the topic of freedom of communication are being honored today by the TBA as a part of the national Law Day celebration. Middle and high school students from across Tennessee created three-minute videos exploring issues related to free communication as part of the second annual TBA YouTube Video Contest. Students were asked to examine one of several themes, including the value of an "invaluable" right; whether limits can, or should, be imposed on freedom of communication; whether there should be consequences for abusing freedom of communication; and how the concept of freedom of communication applies in a digital era. First place in the high school division went to Vivian Hughbanks of Signal Mountain and Ben Panak of Murfreesboro won the middle school division. Read more about the winners and watch their videos

Court Exempts Pro Bono Credit from Filing Fee

The Tennessee Supreme Court yesterday issued an order amending Supreme Court Rule 21, Section 4.07(c) to exempt all credit hours awarded for pro bono legal representation from the per-hour fee imposed by Section 8 and collected by the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. Under court rules, the commission may award one hour of ethics and professionalism credit for every five billable hours of pro bono legal representation. The court said that the per-hour fee that was being charged to cover administrative costs no longer would be collected. It noted in the order that lawyers who perform pro bono work provide an invaluable service not only to their clients but also to the state’s system of justice, and should be exempt from the fees. Download the order

ABA YLD Meeting Features Tennessee Lawyers

Tennessee lawyers are sharing their insights and expertise with young lawyers from across the country at this weekend’s meeting of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in Nashville. The capstone of the three-day meeting is a luncheon on Saturday with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Bar Association Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking on this year’s Law Day theme “No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom.” Other lawyers presenting seminars during the meeting include Gail Vaughn Ashworth, George Barrett, Lisa Cole, Mark Chalos, Matthew Curley, Margaret M. Huff, Anne C. Martin, Bruce McMullen, Barbara Moss, Lucian T. Pera, E. Todd Presnell, Eli J. Richardson, Lisa Rivera, Matt Sweeney, Kendrick Vaughn and Heather Howell Wright.

ABA YLD Presents Legal Clinic, Awards

The ABA YLD Spring Meeting wrapped up this past weekend with a legal clinic for veterans, a presentation by the TBA YLD, and an award ceremony honoring two Tennessee lawyers. Attorneys from across the country in Nashville for the meeting helped serve 20 veterans during Project Salute. Later, Memphis lawyer and YLD Diversity Committee Chair Ahsaki Baptist spoke to attendees about the group’s Diversity Leadership Institute, which was named one of four finalists for the ABA’s Next Steps Challenge Grant. The conference wrapped up Saturday with a panel discussion featuring Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William C. Koch, Vanderbilt Law School Professor Brian T. Fitzpatrick and Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch speaking about recent funding cuts and attacks on the judicary. TBA Executive Director Allan F. Ramsaur moderated the discussion.

LAW WEEK

Tennessee Celebrates Law Day 2012

TBA, Supreme Court & Governor encourage Tennesseans to get involved

NASHVILLE, April 30, 2012 -- Judges, lawyers and citizens across the state will be participating in various events tomorrow (May 1) to celebrate Law Day. The theme of this year's celebration is "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom," which highlights the crucial role of courts and the need to foster a better understanding of the judiciary. 

Memphis Bar Kicks off Law Week

The Memphis Bar Association is hosting a week of activities to commemorate Law Day. The celebration kicks off with the annual Law Week Launch Party set for tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. on the Court Square. All attendees are encouraged to bring a monetary or canned good donation for the Mid-South Food Bank. Learn more online

Maury Co. Celebrates Law Day with Justice Wade, Awards

Law Day ceremonies got underway in Maury County on Thursday, with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary R. Wade as the featured speaker. The event also included presentation of the Liberty Bell Award, given to senior chairman of First Farmers & Merchants Bank Virgil Moore. The award, presented by Chaz Molder, president of the Young Lawyers Division of the Maury County Bar Association, recognizes citizens who inspire a deeper sense of individual civic responsibility. Columbia Academy students were also presented with the 2012 Mock Trial Regional Competition Award by the Maury County Bar Association. The Columbia Daily Herald has the story and pictures

Nashville Bar Holds Law Day Lunch Monday

The Nashville Bar Association will hold its annual Law Day Luncheon on Monday at the Downtown Renaissance Hotel from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The event will feature a keynote speech by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who will recount the events that led to the early removal of former Tennessee governor Ray Blanton. The luncheon also will feature various awards and an announcement of the winners of the local art and essay contest. Learn more from the NBA.

KBA Celebrates Law Day with Luncheon, Awards

The Knoxville Bar Association celebrated Law Day today with its annual luncheon, featuring a panel discussion led by University of Tennessee College of Law School Dean Douglas A. Blaze. The panel explored issues that impact the legal profession, the courts and the American justice system. Also at the event, the Young Lawyers Division recognized the Hon. Thomas W. Phillips for "his contribution to the advancement and protection of law through liberty" and awarded winners of the poster and essay contests, Liana Hu of Farragut Middle School and Gloria Yu  of Hardin Valley Academy, respectively.

Williamson Volunteers to be Honored Friday

The Williamson County Bar Association will honor four legal figures at its Friday Law Day luncheon. The Legal Aid Society and Nashville Pro Bono Program will honor Clerk and Master of Chancery Court Elaine Beeler for her work in establishing the Volunteer Lawyer Program, and it will honor Bill Lane, Diane Crosier and Ben Papa as 2012 Pro Bono Volunteers of the Year, the Tennessean reports.

Memphis Bar Celebrates Law Week with Party, Memorial

Law week activities in Memphis closed out this yesterday when Chief Judge David Kennedy of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court addressed the crowd at the Memphis Bar Association's Annual Memorial Service at Calvary Episcopal Church. Thirty attorneys and judges who died this past year were honored. See photos andread the memorial statements about those honored. Law Week activities kicked off last Friday with the Law Week Launch Party in Court Square with barbecue and live music.

Chattanooga Bar Holds Law Day Event Thursday

The Chattanooga Bar Association will host its annual Law Day celebration on Thursday at the Sheraton Read House. The event will feature remarks from William T. "Bill" Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association; presentation of the 2012 Liberty Bell Award; announcement of the Law Day High School Essay Scholarship recipient; announcement of the 2012 class of Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellows; and presentation of the Judge W. Neil Thomas III Paralegal Utilization Award. For more information contact the CBA at (423) 756-3222 or visit the association online.

ETLAW Hosts Supreme Court for Law Day Lunch

The East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (ETLAW) will celebrate Law Day with a luncheon on Wednesday at noon, with the justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court. The event will take place at the Foundry, 747 Worlds Fair Park Drive in Knoxville. The guest speaker is Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Email Terry Woods or call 865-384-2175 for more information. Download a copy of the invitation

Law Day Event Set for Cookeville

The Upper Cumberland Young Lawyers Association will celebrate Law Day with a dinner in Cookeville on May 15 at 6 p.m. The event will take place at John’s Place at 11 Gibson Ave. The featured speaker will be Dr. Michael Birdwell, a history professor at Tennessee Tech University. He will discuss how John’s Place became instrumental in building race relations in Cookeville. John McClellan, the late owner of John’s Place, was the first African American elected to a public office in Putnam County. To RSVP to the dinner, contact Rachel Moses at rmoses@las.org or (931) 528-7436.